Memories of the Future
By Siri Hustvedt
Read by Katherine Fenton
A provocative, wildly funny and engrossing novel by the internationally acclaimed author of WHAT I LOVED, illustrated with her own drawings.
From the internationally bestselling, Man Booker Prize-longlisted Siri Hustvedt comes a provocative, exuberant novel about time, desire, memory and the imagination, which tells the story of a young Midwestern woman's first year in New York in the late 1970s and her obsession with her mysterious neighbour, Lucy Brite.
As she listens to Lucy through the thin walls of her dilapidated building, S.H. transcribes her neighbour's bizarre and increasingly ominous monologues in a notebook, along with sundry other adventures, until one night when Lucy bursts into her apartment to rescue S.H. from a frightening situation.
Forty years later, S.H., now a veteran author, discovers her old notebook along with drafts of a never-completed novel at her mother's house. Ingeniously juxtaposing the various texts, S.H. measures what she remembers against what she wrote that year, creating a dialogue between selves across decades and reframing the past in the present.
Urgently paced, intellectually rigorous, poignant and often wildly funny, MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE brings together themes that have made Hustvedt among the most celebrated novelists working today: the fallibility of memory; gender mutability; the violence of patriarchy; the vagaries of perception; the ambiguous relation between sensation and thought, sanity and madness; and our dependence on primal drives such as sex, love, hunger, and rage.
(P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
Siri Hustvedt's first novel, The Blindfold, was published by Sceptre in 1993. Since then she has published The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, What I Loved, The Sorrows of an American, The Summer Without Men and The Blazing World, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014 and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. She is also the author of the poetry collection Reading To You, and five collections of essays -Yonder, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, A Plea for Eros, Living, Thinking, Looking, and A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex and the Mind, as well as the memoir The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves.
Born in Minnesota, Siri Hustvedt now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She has a PhD in English from Columbia University and is also Lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. In 2012, she was awarded the International Gabarron Prize for Thought and Humanities.
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- Publication date:
19 Mar 2019
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Various forms of detection, anchored to Hustvedt's deep knowledge of neuroscience and art, propel this rapier attack on sexism; this is a lusciously layered and suspenseful "portrait of the artist as a young woman," electric with wit, curiosity, and storytelling magic — Donna Seaman, Booklist
Among the many riches of Siri Hustvedt's portrait of a young woman finding her way as an artist are her reflections on how acts of remembering, if they reach deep enough, can heal the broken present, as well as on the inherent uncanniness of feeling oneself brought into being by the writing hand. Her reflections are no less profound for being couched as philosophical comedy of a Shandean variety. — J. M. Coetzee
Like all the best postmodern novels, this metafictional investigation of time, memory, and the mutating self is as playful as it is serious. — Kirkus
Hustvedt is that rarest of beasts: a deeply intellectual writer whose work is joyful and not intimidating in the slightest. This is terrific — Editor's Choice, The Bookseller
This provocative, experimental novel . . .joins several narratives to illustrate the roles of memory and perspective in making sense of a life . . . The many moods and flavors of this brash "portrait of the artist as a young woman" constantly reframe and complicate the story, making for a fascinating shape-shifter of a novel. — Publishers Weekly